Standards are high, with many regional specialties on offer. There's some quality restaurants on the Plaza de Armas and atmospheric, if slightly touristy, dining within the Centro Turístico Cultural San Cristóbal. Meanwhile Plaza Moré offers eateries which are positively gourmet: signs of the changing Ayacucho, perhaps. After all, how many Andean towns can boast their own 'Barrio Gastronómico' (gastronomic neighborhood)?

Regional Specialties

Local dishes to try include puca picante (potato and beef stew in a spicy red peanut-and-pepper sauce, served over rice), patachi (wheat soup with various beans, dried potatoes and lamb or beef) and mondongo (corn soup cooked with pork or beef, red peppers and fresh mint). Chicharrónes (deep-fried pork scratchings) and cuy (guinea pig) are also popular. Vegetarians may accordingly be challenged to find meatless fare: chifas (Chinese restaurants) are good bets.